Soft blue, beige, gold and white are Christmas colors in our home this year. The French "Noel Santa" above and tray of ornaments show this light wintry palette. There are cut evergreen branches throughout and a fresh Christmas tree featuring blues, beiges and golds. White peace doves are perched in the tree and will remain even after the ornaments have been removed. The first week of January we enjoy an annual tree of doves before taking it down at Epiphany.
Much of the inspiration for our blue and white Christmas decor has come from a collection of Russian porcelain by Lomonosov shown below, which features blue and white patterns with gold accents. These pieces are mixed with more traditional examples of Chinese porcelain and are complemented by blue ornaments and evergreen sprigs. The Siberian Santa Claus, covered with glass icicles, presides over our china cabinet at Christmas.
There are few winter flowers as lovely as the amaryllis. These showy blooms seem to arrive just in time for Christmas, which makes them perfect for holiday displays. In this painting deep red amaryllis flowers are set against a snowy green background for a classic look. This is one of my latest mixed media pieces.
During Victorian times the language of flowers, called floriography, assigned specific meanings to flowers. The amaryllis was thought to symbolize pride and beauty. It was also associated with the Greek myth of Amaryllis, a maiden in love with a shepherd, Alteo, who did not return her affection. In order to win his favor, she went to his door for 30 nights dressed in pure white, piercing her heart with a golden arrow. When he finally opened the door Amaryllis was gone, but a beautiful scarlet red flower had grown out of her heart's blood.